Deep Secret begins with a cryptic message that the following was secretly deposited in the archive at Iforion. I'd pretty much forgotten that by the tDeep Secret begins with a cryptic message that the following was secretly deposited in the archive at Iforion. I'd pretty much forgotten that by the time reference was made to it late in the book. There's a number of things from early on that circle back into prominence towards the end.
To a certain extent, it is a standard contemporary fantasy novel: Earth is one of a large number of alternate worlds, which have varying amounts of magic, and there is an organization of high-power mages that keep an eye on the multi-verse. The part that is a delight for someone like me, is that the bulk of the middle of the story takes place at a SF convention. It's obvious that Jones was thoroughly familiar with them. I don't know any of the people she describes, but they'd all fit in at any con; I know a lot of people who are very like them.
The hotel with the mirrors at every corner? Been there. (Thankfully, I have yet to encounter more than four right turns in a row, though there are hotels where it feels possible.)
The story itself has a slow start, with the main character switching between two disconnected plotlines. However, this smooths out, and in the end, everything is shown to have a place in the overall structure. It's not a stellar book, but it is a fun one, and there's a lot of extra fun to be had if you're used to the con circuit....more
What do you say? The end of a popular, well-done series.
The beginning, still, perhaps, of an era. It has long seemed inevitable that with competitionWhat do you say? The end of a popular, well-done series.
The beginning, still, perhaps, of an era. It has long seemed inevitable that with competition from all the other modern forms of media, that print, or more importantly, prose, would suffer a long downhill slide that would never kill it, but could make it... 'least among equals' with other artforms.
But the continuing popularity of the series, the record-setting sales, the passion these books have engendered in the very generation that it was supposed would largely abandon fiction reading, ensure that an understanding of prose, and likely printed books, will continue for some time yet.
Harry has been told many times by his older mentors in the series that he didn't understand what it was like when Voldemort was at his full power. During much of this volume Harry gets an idea, Voldemort and his Death Eaters are in charge in fact, if not in name, and Harry must be very cautious to avoid capture and a confrontation with Voldemort that is impossible to win. Similarly, I now have some idea what it must have been like when The Lord of the Rings hit the college crowd a half-century ago.
If this book is a bit unwieldy, and the plot in some places loses focus, it must be noted that Rawlings did very well in that she avoided breaking out of her established scheme to put off the ending for 'just one more book', a temptation that has been the undoing of other epics. There have been a lot of threads and complications in the previous books, and this no exception, it is not just a tying off of threads, there are new challenges and complications to address....more